Napster founder donating $24 million to Stanford allergy center

Paul Sakuma/APFILE - In this Oct. 17

Napster co-founder Sean Parker missed most of his final year in high school and has ended up in the emergency room many times because of his deadly allergy to nuts, shellfish and other foods.

Now that the former Facebook president is the father of two small children who have a genetic predisposition for allergies, he says he wants to help find a lasting cure.

Parker announced Wednesday that he is donating $24 million over the next two years to establish an allergy research center at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

“We have been applying Band-Aids for decades by using antihistamines to treat symptoms instead of going after the root cause of allergies,” Parker said.

The Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy Research will focus on the dysfunctions of the immune system that result in allergic reactions and on finding the safest and best treatments for allergies.

The Silicon Valley entrepreneur said he missed most of his senior year of high school because he was hospitalized with a bronchial infection due to severe allergies and asthma. Parker said his severe allergic reactions have sent him to the hospital 14 times in the last six years.

Parker, 35, said neither his 2-year-old girl nor his 2-week-old boy have allergies, but he knows they could develop them. “Now that I'm a father, I'm sympathetic to what my parents went through,” he said. “It's terrifying for parents to see their child go through anaphylactic shock because of an allergic reaction.”

The center will be led by Dr. Kari Nadeau, an immunology researcher who focuses on allergies. Nadeau has developed a treatment that involves giving patients tiny doses of the allergen and increasing the amount ingested — over months or years — to build tolerance over time.

“The goal is to be able to achieve desensitization in a couple of weeks,” Parker said.

QUICK TAKES

Grizzled former heartthrob Charlie Sheen is reprising his “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” role as a delinquent in an upcoming episode of “The Goldbergs.” … Rapper Bobby Shmurda, inventor of the Shmoney Dance, was arrested Tuesday night in connection to a drug-trafficking ring and several shootings.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Niners center Daniel Kilgore is 27. … Singer Christina Aguilera is 34. … Singer Sia is 39. … Rapper DMX is 43. … Actor Brad Pitt (“World War Z”) is 51. … Actor Ray Liotta (“Goodfellas”) is 59. … Director Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan”) is 68. … Guitarist Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones is 71. … Actor Roger Smith (“77 Sunset Strip”) is 82. — Staff, wire report

Got scoops or Bay Area celebrity gossip? Email scoop@sfexaminer.com.

Just Posted

Community-led efforts to monitor air quality in Bayview, Eastern neighborhoods gain traction

San Francisco community groups are working to install high-quality sensors in the… Continue reading

Fire department drill finds traffic around Chase Arena could slow response time

For years, some have feared the future home of the Golden State… Continue reading

Did Scoot ‘redline’ SF neighborhoods? Chinatown group says ‘we asked for it’

The talk of the transportation world is a Los Angeles Times story… Continue reading

New hires solve SF school crossing guard shortage — for now

San Francisco has gone on a school crossing guard-hiring binge, hoping to… Continue reading

SF sets a high bar for Lyft on electric bike rentals

Newly spelled out city requirements could open the door for other e-bike providers

Most Read